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Southgate praises Alexander-Arnold's midfield potential ahead of Euro 2024 opener

Gareth Southgate believes Trent Alexander-Arnold can offer England "a different dimension" in midfield as they gear up for their Euro 2024 Group C opener against Serbia on Sunday.

The Liverpool right-back has been deployed in the middle by Southgate on a number of occasions during his international career so far.

The England manager praised the 25-year-old's passing range and attitude in helping him adapt to the new position.

Asked if Alexander-Arnold was ready to play in midfield, Southgate told ITV: "We believe so. We think he can offer something we don't have, he can give the team a different dimension and he's been diligent in understanding the role.

"He has as good a passing range as anyone in world football really.

"He's been invested in learning and understanding all aspects of the game in that role and I've enjoyed working with him on that project in the last 12 months.

"His mentality and attitude have been absolutely first class."

One player certain to be at the heart of the England side is Jude Bellingham, who won the Champions League in his debut season at Real Madrid, while his 19 league goals also helped his new club to the LaLiga title.

And Southgate admitted it would be "crazy" for England not to utilise his goal-scoring ability when asked if he would start as a number 10 behind captain Harry Kane.

"He'll run forward a lot and be a threat on goal no doubt," Southgate said.

"He's obviously played for Madrid as a false nine or 10 all season and we'll be crazy to not take advantage of that goal-scoring form he has had all season."

Euro 2024 will be Southgate's fourth major tournament as England boss and he feels he has continued to develop and improve throughout his reign.

"I feel ready. I'm a better manager than I was six months ago and a year ago, but time will tell if that's going to translate into results," he said.

"We're here to win which we know is a complicated journey and the first objective is to qualify."

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